November 2023 Issue: Enticing Expos and Stimulating Seminars

Enticing Expos and Stimulating Seminars

Welcome to the NZCTA Young Associates Newsletter: a monthly-ish digest of happenings and articles for young people interested in the NZ-China space.

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Welcome to the YA Newsletter, November edition!

This month’s newsletter is short and sweet but contains plenty to pique your China interest! First up is a rundown of the recent China International Import Expo which was held in Shanghai. Plus, read on to learn about multiple upcoming events in this space happening in December — with the earliest set to happen this week! Happy reading!

#1. Shanghai’s CIIE sees billions in deals struck between attendees

(President Xi Jinping opens the 6th Annual China International Import Expo with a call for international solidarity, 5th November 2023)

Shanghai hosted the sixth annual China International Import Expo (CIIE) from the 5th – 10th November 2023, allowing hundreds of foreign exhibitors from all industry sectors to connect and negotiate with Chinese buyers. Launched in 2018 by Xi Jinping, the expo showcases China’s economic reform and opening up while strengthening trade ties with developed and developing nations alike.

This year’s CIIE attracted 3,400 exhibitors and 400,000 visitors, including representatives from 289 of the Global Fortune 500 companies. A record US$78.4 billion worth of deals were signed in the six-day period, an increase of 6.7% on the 2022 event. Chen Xiao, the CEO of Shanghai Yacheng Culture, attributes this unprecedented success to the release of ‘pent-up demand for foreign goods’ following China’s reopening after the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the expo also attracted criticism from the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. Vice-president Carlo d’Andrea asserted that the expo was a ‘symbolic gesture’, and that ‘tangible results (are) needed to restore business confidence’ in the Chinese market amidst rising geopolitical tensions and economic slowdown.

#2. Between a rock and a hard place for China on Israel

(Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during a UN Security Council meeting, 29th November 2023)

China was an early proponent of a ceasefire in Gaza and has called for wider talks on resolving the Palestinian question. Beijing has been a supporter of the Palestinians since the Mao era and long called for a two-state solution, but the Asian nation has become increasingly close with Israel in recent times, presenting itself as a neutral party that holds steadfast to the principle of noninterference.

News reports in China have consistently leaned toward highlighting Israel’s bombing of Gaza rather than the Hamas attacks, but they have mentioned both. State media has placed the biggest emphasis, however, on Washington’s so-called malevolent meddling in the Middle East.

The conflict has also seen antisemitic discourse increase in China on social media and from official voices. While antisemitism has long existed in China — and flourished in particular in nationalist corners of the internet — analysts note that Beijing’s refusal to condemn Hamas for the October 7th attacks have emboldened Chinese influencers to voice antisemitic tropes more vigorously. This content has been allowed to flourish on China’s tightly-controlled social media networks, suggesting an at least tacit tolerance for prejudiced content.

#3. Upcoming events and opportunities in the NZ-China space

Check out these cool events happening this December!

On this week’s menu is the 2023 Winds of Change North Asia Symposium from 12.30pm - 4pm on Wednesday 6th December. Presented by the North Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence, attendees will have the chance to join this event either online or in-person at the University of Auckland. Register now to hear from students and emerging professionals on sustainable development.

Immediately after this event is a networking function by Asian Marketing & Ecommerce Professionals from 6.30pm on December 6th. You can find out more about this Auckland event by following this link.

Finally, mark the end of the year by attending the 2023 New Zealand China Products Expo on 14th - 16th December! You can click on this link to RSVP for the opening ceremony and an English language tour afterwards.

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Editors: Shu, Josie, and David

Disclaimer: opinions expressed in this newsletter are solely the views of the NZCTA Young Associates and do not represent the opinions of the wider New Zealand China Trade Association or any of its executive committee.

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